Mosques symbol of country
Hakim Hayat

AS THE main symbol and landmark of the Sultanate, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in a titah yesterday called for the glorification of mosques nationwide and emphasised that its progress should go in line with the tide of time and Islam’s presence.

The monarch also focused on the construction of several new mosques recently and noticed its designs lack prominence and is disappointing.

“It does not suffice to build mosques without taking into account a design which suits Islam’s eminence,” His Majesty said in his titah to mark the Maulidur Rasul or the birthday anniversary of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) for the year 1434 Hijrah at the Istana Nurul Iman yesterday evening.

“It seems that we desire to be brought back to an era where mosques had standard designs that paid no attention to Islamic teachings.

“As a centre for charitable activities and expansion of knowledge, it must not be forgotten that mosques are a main symbol of the country and its presence cannot be dim and weak,” His Majesty said.

The monarch also reminded to inculcate an attitude of progression, not declining or turning back against time. “Allah the Almighty brought Islam as a superior religion. Relative to this, we are obligated to heighten its eminence as much as possible,” His Majesty added.

“If the presence of our mosques is felt similar to typical buildings, where does the eminence lay here?” His Majesty rhetorically asked.

His Majesty in the Titah went on to say that the government has allocated more than $100 million for the construction of new mosques across the country. “Apart from increasing facilities for prayers and worship, we hope it should continuously shape up its roles as a centre for community activities, also not exempting it as an avenue to spread knowledge consistently,” His Majesty said.

Earlier in the titah, the monarch said is grateful for the Maulidur Rasul celebrations that the country has long been organising along with ‘Dikir’ resonating across all mosques for twelve consecutive nights.

The Maulidur Rasul procession nationwide is the highlight and the ‘Dikir’ ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman will be held on the eve of the celebration.

This kind of atmosphere, His Majesty said is rarely seen anywhere else but has become accustomed to the country, adding that it is a unique Bruneian characteristic that we can be proud of.

Touching on the theme of the Maulidur Rasul celebration this year, “Rasulullah Teladan Sepanjang Zaman” or loosely translated as “Prophet Muhammad, Role Model of All Time”, His Majesty said it connotes the relevance to all aspects of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as an example of an unprecedented role model, regardless of time.

“The Prophet is a perfect role model in all stages of life, be it during childhood, adulthood and senior age. We do not need to look toward others as a role model,” His Majesty added.

Because of the Prophet’s superiority and his pure and noble image, His Majesty said these are the reasons we become affected should this image be tainted by irresponsible and malicious individuals.

“Muslims all across the world condemns anybody that insults the Prophet,” the Monarch added.

Hence, religious education is the finest path to incorporate valuable examples, His Majesty said, adding that the enforcement of the Compulsory Religious Education Order 2012 earlier this year is timely and appropriate. “It will be a platform to generate a more knowledgeable generation that have higher moral values who can resist negative social ills that burdens the country.”

His Majesty added that notably, whereas lifelong learning is essential, formal religious education may be limited in its time-frame.

“Therefore, for this to thrive we need other institutions to accommodate them and in this respect, I see the mosques as one of the essential platform towards achieving the objective,” His Majesty said. - Borneo Bulletin (24 January 2013)